TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Content and Control

Content and Control

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 17 Jan 2005 01:47:37 -0500

Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices on Potential Online Business
Models in the Music and Film Industries

Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School

The online environment and new digital technologies threaten the
viability of the music and film industries' traditional business
models. The industries have responded by seeking government
intervention, among other means, to protect their traditional models
as well as by developing new models specifically adapted to the
online market. Industry activity and public debate have focused on
three key policy areas related to copyright holders' control of
content: technical interference with and potential liability of P2P
services; copyright infringers' civil and criminal liability; and
legal reinforcement of digital rights management technologies (DRM).

This paper seeks to support policymakers' decision making by
delineating the potential consequences of policy actions in these
areas. To do so, it assesses how such action would impact relevant
social values and four business models representative of current and
emerging attempts to generate viable revenues from digital media. The
authors caution that government intervention is currently premature
because it is unlikely to strike an appropriate balance between
achieving industry goals while supporting other social values, such
as consumer rights, the diversity of available content, and
technological innovation.

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